Marloth Park…No dogs allowed…Remembering…

Willie, during his last 17 days of life, resting on our bed with his favorite toys; Tiger Woods (in the forefront) and Fred Flinstone behind his head.  At night, he’d always use his pet steps while carrying these toys up onto the bed with him

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Treefrog sitting atop the vacuum hose to our plunge pool.  Could this be one of the frogs hatched from the nest of almost two months ago?

Anniversary dates seem to matter more to us as we’ve aged, whether it’s in regard to our relationship, places we’ve been and experiences we’ve had over the years.

Today, one particular anniversary is difficult to pass, the day our last dog, WorldWideWillie, made his way to doggie heaven.  It was a heartbreaking and sorrowful day.

Willie standing on the seat of a picnic table in our yard, on his last day of life looking for moving critters to chase.  He’d been awake all night coughing terribly while we stayed awake with him, comforting him.

For those who’ve never had a dog or other pet, wanted a dog or other pet or understand the degree of love we can have for our furry friends, surely today’s post will be of little interest.

But, oddly, there’s a huge connection with our love and remembrance of Willie with being in Marloth Park, one that is so obvious to us, as we cherish each and every animal that stops by to visit, whether its as unassuming as the above-mentioned tree frog in today’s “Sighting of the Day in the Bush” or as fascinating as “forkl” of 20 kudus such as visited us over the weekend.

Willie would sit staring at my laptop for hours, hoping I’d Skype my sister Julie when he and I were visiting son Richard in Las Vegas.  He’d get so excited when he’d hear her voice.

It’s the profound love of animals that some, not all, of us possess that drives us, motivates us and inspires us, to have dogs as pets, lavishing an often over-abundant lifestyle to ensure the quality of joy they bring us and ultimately them in our excesses.

Such was the case with Willie and our two prior Australian Terriers over a period of 18 years.  Bart was run over by the mailman on our private road at five years of age and Ben passed from the effects of Cushing’s Disease at 12 years of age, two years before the heartbreak of losing Willie.

Willie on his last trip to Petco after his diagnosis, deciding if he’d like anything which normally, he’d choose from these reachable bins.  This time, he didn’t choose a thing.

It was through the love of these dogs and ultimately with Willie when we arrived at a magical place within our hearts that clearly defined our passion for animals had come to fruition.

Willie passed away on April 9, 2011.  We began our worldwide journey on October 31, 2012, 18 months later.  However, it was during the planning stages in 2012 while we were still living in Minnesota that we booked plans to come to Africa, first to Diani Beach, Kenya to go on safari in the Masai Mara and then making plans to come here to Marloth Park, South Africa.  Why?  To see the animals, plain and simple. 

Shortly before the vet came to the house to send Willie to doggie heaven.

Sure, I could go into the details of why we loved Willie so much and the heartbreak we both felt over losing him on this date seven years ago.  But, you’ve heard it all before, from us, from others, on losing their beloved pets and the sorrow that hovers in one’s heart, days, weeks, months and even years later.

So, today, and other days, we remember Willie who, through the first blog I’d ever written about the last days of his life, presented from his perspective.  If you haven’t read his blog and would like to, please click here

Willie climbed this tree on command.  After he developed a cataract he was afraid to do it.  We’d scheduled eye surgery with a specialist but he refused to allow us to put the preliminary drops into his eye which was required before and after the surgery.  He spent the remaining years of his life only able to see with one eye, but was perfectly content.

If you’d like to read Willie’s blog from the beginning (the first post was on March 20, 2011), please scroll down to the archives on the right side of the main page and start with the first entry.  Many of you who’ve lost beloved pets will certainly relate to his story.

Here it is, seven years later and we still celebrate you Willie and always will.  You taught us, focused us and lead us to the heavenly environment giving us the will, the desire and the opportunity to look into the eyes of a visiting animal and see them and…see you. 

He saw the vet pull into the driveway wondering who was coming to visit.

No dogs or other pets are allowed in Marloth Park for the peace, harmony and unity of the humans and wandering wildlife.  Being here is a gift as was the infinite joy of loving our dogs and now, we’re blissfully able to spread the love among many who grace us with their presence each and every day.

May you find the love of an animal to fill your heart with a profound connection providing you with an eternal ray of light and hope in your life.  Rescue.


Photo from one year ago today, April 9, 2017:

While walking on the Manly Scenic Walk we enjoyed an excellent view of boats in North Harbour Reef Bay.  Please click here for more details.

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